The Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College Board of Trustees convened a meeting on Monday, October 4, 2021, at 3:00 p.m., in person, and via Zoom in The Brumit Center for Culinary Arts and Hospitality
The following members of the Board participated in person: Theresa Banks, Joe Brumit, Michael Garrison, Tommy Justus, Himanshu Karvir, Matt Kern, David King, Judy Lewis, Roger Metcalf, John Parham, Max Queen, Frances Ramsey, and Bethany Duke, Ex-Officio. Trustee Libby Kyles participated via Zoom. Trustee Nian Avery was absent.
Others present for the meeting included: Dr. John Gossett, President; Terry Brasier, Vice President of Student Services; Shanna Chambers, Vice President of Human Resources and Organizational Development; Amanda Edwards, Executive Director of College Advancement; Kerri Glover; Executive Director of Community Relations and Marketing; Anne Oxenreider, Executive Director of Strategic Planning and Institutional Research; Brian Willis, Vice President of Information and Technology/CIO; Dirk Wilmoth, Vice President of Business and Finance/CFO; Deborah Wright, Vice President of Economic and Workforce Development and Continuing Education; Darryl Rhymes, Director of Employment and Employee Relations; Ashley Leonard, College Attorney; and Carolyn Rice, Secretary to the Board. Beth Stewart, Vice President of Instructional Services participated via Zoom.
Call to Order
Chair Kern read the ethics statement. No conflicts of interest were reported. Ms. Rice called the roll, a quorum was present.
At 3:07 p.m., the Honorable Alan Z. Thornburg, Senior Resident Superior Court Judge, swore in reappointed Trustees Himanshu Karvir and David King, and Student Government President Bethany Duke to the Board.
Presentation of Certificate of Appreciation
Dr. Gossett presented a Certificate of Appreciation to Ms. Linda Campbell for her 42 years of service to the College.
At 3:20 p.m., Chair Kern asked for a motion to approve the Consent Agenda.
Mr. Brumit moved to approve Consent Agenda items: 1. A. August 30, 2021 Board Meeting Minutes, 1. B. September 14, 2021, Executive Committee Meeting Minutes, and 1. C. Personnel Actions.
The motion to approve the Consent Agenda was seconded by Dr. Banks. Trustees Banks, Brumit, Garrison, Justus, Karvir, Kern, King, Kyles, Lewis, Metcalf, Parham, Queen, and Ramsey each verbally approved the Consent Agenda. The motion was passed by unanimous consent.
2. A. Dr. Gene Loflin stated that the 2022-2023 Academic College Calendar follows the pattern of previous College Academic Calendars and asked the Trustees to mark their calendars for May 14, 2022 Commencement.
Mr. Brumit moved to approve the 2022-2023 Academic College Calendar. The motion was seconded by Mr. Queen. Trustees Banks, Brumit, Garrison, Justus, Karvir, Kern, King, Kyles, Lewis, Metcalf, Parham, Queen, and Ramsey each verbally approved the 2022-2023 Academic College Calendar. The motion was passed by unanimous consent.
2. B. Ms. Anne Oxenreider led the Trustees through the Strategic Planning Process. Ms. Oxenreider shared that the following actions had been accomplished by the Strategic Plan Taskforces:
- Over 5,680 students and 1,147 employees responded to surveys regarding financial wellness, the impact of the pandemic, and the impact on learning, among several other topics.
- 30 employees across campus were chosen to be a part of the Strategic Plan Taskforces.
- The Taskforces met weekly in the spring and presented their findings and recommendations to the Executive Leadership Team (ELT).
- ELT met over several days to discuss each recommendation from the Taskforces.
- Ms. Ginger Keller-Ferguson, Director of Resource Development, helped ELT create the documents that make up the Plan.
- Every division on campus had an opportunity to review and ask questions regarding the Plan prior to asking the Board for final approval.
- Over 170 employees reviewed and approved the proposed new “Mission Statement”.
- The Plan is focused on equity, learning, removing barriers, and financial wellness.
Ms. Kyles asked if the Plan was reviewed through an equity lens, specifically by the Adaway Group which specializes in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion training. Dr. Gossett responded that although the Plan was not reviewed by the Adaway Group, ELT incorporated all that they learned from the Adaway Group’s training in the Plan.
Dr. Banks mentioned that it was evident that the Plan was generated from the bottom up, and that all employees had input. The Plan presented is evidence-based.
Mr. Garrison added that the initiatives for the State Performance Measures align with the financial wellness part of the Plan.
Dr. Banks moved to approve the 2020-2025 Strategic Plan as presented. The motion was seconded by Ms. Lewis. Trustees Banks, Brumit, Garrison, Justus, Karvir, Kern, King, Lewis, Metcalf, Parham, Queen, and Ramsey each verbally approved the 2020-2025 Strategic Plan. Ms. Kyles abstained. The motion passed by a majority vote.
2. C. Dr. Wilmoth informed the Board that it was time to appoint two Trustees to the A-B Tech/Buncombe County Joint Capital Advisory Committee. The Committee is charged with reviewing requests for capital improvements in College facilities from the Article 46 funds. The Committee is made up of two Buncombe County Commissioners, two A-B Tech Trustees, and one Member at Large. Each member serves a two-year term, and the Committee typically meets once a year.
Chair Kern stated that the Committee is important as it gives us a seat at the table when the County is discussing what the College’s capital needs are. Chair Kern then opened the floor for nominations.
Dr. Metcalf moved to nominate Mr. David King and Ms. Judy Lewis to serve on the A-B Tech/Buncombe County Joint Capital Advisory Committee. Dr. Banks seconded the motion. Trustees Banks, Brumit, Garrison, Justus, Karvir, Kern, King, Kyles, Lewis, Metcalf, Parham, Queen, and Ramsey each verbally approved the nomination of Mr. King and Ms. Lewis to the A-B Tech/Buncombe County Joint Capital Advisory Committee. The motion was passed by unanimous consent.
Ms. Ramsey and the Board thanked Chair Kern and Dr. Metcalf for their service on the Committee.
Dr. Gossett shared the following information with the Board:
- Dr. Gossett stated that September has been a busy month. He and Ms. Amanda Edwards attended a day-long Foundation Training Seminar sponsored by Belk, along with Foundation Board Chair Steve Sizemore. The Foundation is strong and Ms. Edwards is an excellent leader.
- Belk is also sponsoring thirteen councils of government that are working for the future of MyfutureNC. Its goal is to have two million people earn credentials by the year 2030. We are working with Mr. Nathan Ramsey on this project and will continue to do all we can to serve our workforce's needs.
- We met with representatives from Mercy Urgent Care to discuss staffing needs and workforce issues. The College can’t train employees as fast as the pandemic is burning people out.
- We are very proud of Ms. Barb Browning, our Director of Professional Development, who created the Trailblazer Leadership Academy for our employees. Ms. Browning expanded the Leadership Academy to include two of our regional community colleges, and now NC State University, who heard of our training program, wants to learn from us!
- The College also has a “Chair Academy” where an experienced department chair teams up with a new department chair, acting as their mentor.
- The best part of the fall is seeing our students on campus. Dr. Gossett has visited several classes on campus and shared that it is wonderful to see, talk to, and listen to our students face to face.
- A presentation was made to the Buncombe County Commissioners regarding the purchase of 111 Victoria Road. As of today, we have not been informed of their decision.
- Trustee Garrison, Ms. Ashely Leonard, and Dr. Gossett attended the NCACCT Leadership Seminar in Wilmington. Ms. Leonard presented to the group and represented us very well! The Community College Presidents also met and agreed to a plan moving forward with our legislators. Once the State Board of Community Colleges adopts the plan, we will share it with the Board.
- A Legislative Breakfast will be held for all of our western NC state delegates in late October or early November, to bring them up to date on all of the great things happening at the College.
- Mr. Dale Folwell, Secretary of the Treasury, was on campus to kick off Disability Employment Awareness Month.
- The meetings with the architect for the Workforce Development Building continue. We have asked for an additional $5 million from the state and are waiting for the General Assembly to complete their work on the budget to see if and when we will receive the funds.
- A job fair was held on campus to celebrate the Advanced Manufacturing Center, workforce training, and promote employment opportunities for our Black and Hispanic communities.
- Dr. Gossett met with Reverend Woods from the Western Carolina Rescue Mission to discuss what the College can do to open our doors to everyone in an effort to help everyone in our community get jobs. If we are to be a community college, we need to serve all of our communities.
Mrs. Bethany Duke, President of the Student Government Association shared the following information with the Board:
- Mrs. Duke appreciates being a part of the Board and is happy to be a voice for our student body.
- Several student clubs are holding events in October. Club members are required to attend a set amount of events on campus in order for their clubs to receive funding.
- October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and several of our clubs are devoting events to that subject.
With respect to the time, Dr. Gossett asked the Board to postpone the Staff Report to the November 1 meeting.
6. A. Mr. Kern stated that since Dr. Gossett addressed the NCACCT Leadership Seminar during his report to the Board, we would move on to Item 6. B.
6. B. Mr. Kern then opened the floor to continue the discussion on the proposed HCA Nursing School that was tabled during the August 30 Board meeting. HCA plans to open its Gaylen College of Nursing in Asheville. Students attending Gaylen will have their tuition paid, and in return, must agree to work for HCA upon completion of their nursing degree. A-B Tech, as well as all of the colleges in Western North Carolina, are concerned about not only the potential loss of clinical sites for our nursing students but that HCA is chipping away at our Allied Health programs.
The Trustees discussed HCA and Gaylen at length. Questions arose regarding the quality of a new nursing school in relation to the quality of education that our community colleges have provided, as we have been training nursing students for over fifty years. Additional topics discussed were accreditation issues, employee retention issues at HCA, the increased need for nursing instructors to allow the College to increase class sizes, and questions about a potential collaboration with HCA.
Mr. Queen moved to draft a letter from the Board of Trustees to HCA specifying our willingness to partner with HCA and describing the adverse effects that the Gaylen School will have on A-B Tech and other colleges in the area. Mr. Brumit seconded the motion.
Dr. Banks suggested that Mr. Brumit make contact with the leadership of HCA to set up a meeting with the College. Mr. Karvir agreed that a meeting prior to writing a letter was a better course of action.
Mr. Queen moved to amend his motion to draft a letter from the Board regarding our willingness to partner with HCA after Dr. Gossett meets with the leadership team from HCA. Dr. Metcalf seconded the motion. Trustees Banks, Brumit, Garrison, Justus, Karvir, Kern, King, Kyles, Lewis, Metcalf, Parham, Queen, and Ramsey each verbally approved the amended motion.
Dr. Gossett agreed to draft a letter to HCA for the Board to review during the November 1 meeting.
6. C. Ms. Ashely Leonard reviewed the Board’s Constitution and By-Laws, sharing that Board members have a legal obligation to the College. Pursuant to North Carolina state law, a Trustee may be removed from the Board if they are absent from three meetings in a row. Additionally, a Board member may be removed for not participating in state-mandated ethics training or Trustee training sessions offered by the NCACCT. Once a Board member’s seat is declared vacant, the Board Secretary must notify the appointing authority of the vacancy and the need to appoint a new member to the Board.
Mr. Kern added that in the spirit of transparency and to foster greater inclusion, starting at the May 2022 Board meeting, he will ask the Board who would be interested in serving on the Nominating and Executive Committees. Members of the Committees will be appointed in June, and a Chair of the Committee will be designated. In August, membership on both Committees will be discussed, and votes will be taken from the floor.
The Capital Projects Update, Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF) Overview and the September 2021-2022 Student Success Scorecard are in the Handouts.
The next Board meeting will be on November 1, 2021, at 3:00 p.m., in The Brumit Center for Culinary Arts and Hospitality.
On a motion properly made, the meeting adjourned at 5:25 p.m.
Carolyn H. Rice